Superficial peels are the mildest type of chemical peels and remove the outermost layer of the epidermis. Superficial peels are customized to address skin issues like acne, discoloration, surface scarring, fine lines and sunspots. They can also help prepare the skin for deeper peels and enhance the effects of other cosmetic services.
What Will the Procedure Feel Like?
Each treatment is approximately 40 minutes long. The skin will be cleansed and degreased. A protective ointment will be placed to the corners of the eyes, nose and mouth. The peels are then performed in two steps. The first layer is applied and left on the treatment area for approximately 10 minutes. During this time a mild stinging sensation may be felt. Then, the second and final layer consisting of either a solution or mask is applied to the treatment area. This will remain on the skin after the procedure and the patient will wash it off after a number of hours as directed by their provider.
When Will I See Results?
Results will vary per patient and realistic expectations will be discussed during your first treatment. Having a good at-home regimen will help attain optimum results. In addition, smoking, excessive alcohol and excessive sun exposure will limit results. Results are less dramatic when chemical peels are utilized for prevention and maintenance (treatments spaced greater than one month apart) than when utilized in a more frequent, treatment-oriented protocol.
How Many Treatments Are Necessary?
With a series of treatments and consistent use of the post-procedure products, one can expect to see improvement in pigmentation along with improvement in texture and tone. It is crucial that patients protect the area from the sun by limiting exposure and applying sunscreen consistently. Maintenance treatments will be needed. For brightening I peels, typically four to six peels spaced two to four weeks apart are recommended.
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Mild Peels remove the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and are often used to treat fine wrinkles, acne, uneven skin tone, dryness and more. Mild peels include:
Trichloroacetic acid, or TCA peels, are effective for treating skin concerns like fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and dull, uneven skin texture. The depth of a TCA peel can be adjusted based on the number of coats used, making it versatile for a variety of skin types and concerns. The TCA peel is also an excellent option for effectively treating isolated areas or spots.
A Jessner’s peel is a blend of salicylic acid, lactic acid and resorcinol, which work together to exfoliate the outer layers of the skin. Once applied, the peel dissolves hardened skin cells within the outermost layer of the skin. This process helps with sun damage, acne, fine lines, scarring, skin elasticity and minor hyperpigmentation.
A lactic acid chemical peel improves skin texture by removing damaged upper layers. Lactic acid peels contain keratolytic AHA that smooths skin while being less irritating and drying. This delivers smoother, softer and younger-looking skin while helping reduce fine lines, acne and hyperpigmentation (brown spots). Lactic acid helps dissolve the glue-like substance that binds the outermost surface skin cells together, so that old skin cells are removed to reveal fresher skin cells underneath.
Mandelic peels are a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peel, similar to a lactic acid or glycolic peel. A Mandelic peel is a great option for patients receiving their first chemical peel, especially for those with acne prone skin because of its antibacterial properties. As a gentler chemical peel, it is also safe to use for all skin types.
Similar to a Mandelic peel, glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid. Because its molecules are so small, your skin is able to absorb it quickly. Glycolic peels are safe for all skin types and are often recommended for reducing hyperpigmentation, evening out skin tones, reducing wrinkles and fine lines, and temporarily reducing the appearance of large pores.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it effective for oily, acne-prone or rosacea-prone skin. Salicylic peels are also helpful treating redness in the face, superficial hyperpigmentation, fine wrinkles and enlarged pores.
PCA peels help regenerate new skin cells and stimulate the formation of collagen and elastin. The peel solution exfoliates dead skin cells and surface build-up, and is made up of ingredients found naturally in the skin and body for maximum compatibility. There are several different formulations of the PCA solution, so each treatment can be tailored to meet your specific skin needs.